SILA: The work of José Saramago revisited
The complete novels of the Portuguese writer José de Sousa Saramago, Nobel Prize 1998, the Iberian who wanted to reclaim his "Berber origin" has been the focus of a conference Friday in the margin of the fifteenth International Book Fair of Algiers (Sila).
- Before a large audience, consisting of Lusophone but also simple curious, Carlos Reis, Rector of the University of Aberta (Portugal) and member of the Jose Saramogo foundation, spoke about the course of the writer and the intellectual "rebel", who died recently.
- More than the style of writing, it is especially the approach of the writer in the construction of the novel which earned Saramago international recognition before opening the doors of the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he says will explain that all the work of the writer is marked by the "mixture of history (that of Portugal), Fable and scathing critique of the political or social order".
- From "The God penguin," a novel published in 1982 and which will bring him outside of Portugal until "Caien" (2009) through "blindness" or "The journey of the elephant," Saramago will constantly criticize, in turn, the religious, economic liberalism, and indeed social morality and the hypocrisy of people, say the speaker.
- The biblical texts he revisited in his way in "Caien" or "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ," for example, earned him criticism from the Church, but also from the Portuguese government.
- Censored by the latter accused by the monks of "undermining the religious heritage of the Portuguese," the author left Portugal in 1998 and fled to the Canary Islands.
- A distant "Berber origin"
- It is probably from this period that Saramago will show some pride in putting forward a remote Berber origin, thinks Mr. Reis.
- In receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, the lecturer says, Saramago was chosen to honor his grandfather, saying he was "the wisest man I know," adding that "this man who could neither read nor write had Berber ancestors come from North Africa."
- According to Mr. Reis, the affirmation of identity "was a way for Saramago, away from the North and Europe to get closer to peoples with whom he felt an affinity."
- His fame as a novelist, Saramago, will serve it for the cause, of which he was convinced of the correctness and regain, thereby, to both sides of the anti-globalization activists to denounce the "savage economic liberalism", and in Ramallah (Palestine) in 2002, alongside the besieged.
- These principles positions will often put the writer in disagreement with the Portuguese intellectuals, but to the end, concludes the speaker who has rubbed shoulders with the writer, this man who "remained faithful to his ideas."
- First author of Portuguese Nobel laureate, Saramago has left some thirty works from novels, poems and pieces of opera.
- He died in 2010 at the age of 87.
- Ennaharonline/ M. O.